Last year with your help, Columbus passed Issue 1, setting up the largest 100% renewable energy aggregation program in the Midwest. Clean Energy Columbus is now a reality.

Not only does the power for your phone, computer, and lights now come from 100% renewable energy, it is also creating jobs, cleaning the air, and improving public health through construction of local projects such as the Columbus Solar Park, which will provide 50 MW of energy from a solar farm on the old Franklin County landfill.

On top of that, renewable energy aggregation in Columbus is generating $1.7 million each year in community grants to help pay for energy efficiency upgrades and workforce development in low income neighborhoods and communities of color.

Clean Energy Columbus is a model for the nation, now in place because you supported Issue 1 on the ballot last year.

Unfortunately this year, the opposite of Issue 1 is on the ballot. Issue 7 is a dangerous initiative that would strip $87 million in taxpayer funding -- about 11% of the city budget -- and give it to an unaccountable group whose leader has been indicted on four felony counts of campaign finance violations.

Issue 7 must be defeated, and we are asking you to vote NO.

Issue 7 claims to be everything Issue 1 actually was and Issue 7 is not. It claims to create four clean energy funds -- but other than the name, there is no indication of where this supposed clean energy would come from.

It claims to help minority business -- but customers would have to apply for funds, and there's no information about how the money would be distributed or who would decide.

Everything about Issue 7 would be managed by a ballot initiative committee of six people -- one of whom is dead, four of whom can't be found, and whose leader has been indicted on four felony counts of campaign finance violations.

Critically, the ballot initiative doesn't specify how much of the $87 million per year could be spent on administrative costs. The ballot committee could legally award themselves $86.9 million of the funding and provide $1 for the programs it claims to support.

Anyone who cares about sustainability should vote NO on Issue 7.

Volunteers with the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 campaign have been working for months with Sustainable Columbus and a coalition of other groups to make the city's Climate Action Plan as strong as possible. We need that $87 million to help pay for things like electric buses, electric vehicle charging stations, planting trees, microgrids, sidewalks, and bike lanes.

Let's spend the city budget on actual sustainability -- not a scam that claims to be about clean energy but is really just lining a few people's pockets at the expense of everyone else.